7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Much Missed Great,
This review is from: Mr. Love Pants (Audio CD)
Ian Dury and The Blockheads' final studio album (not counting the posthumously compiled Ten More Turnips From The Tip) Mr Love Pants was released in 1998 and, although being released 21 years after the seminal Dury debut album, New Boots And Panties, I consider the two albums to represent the peak of the man's recording career. In fact, on Mr Love Pants the Blockheads, undoubtedly one of the greatest backing bands ever (along with The E Street Band, The Bad Seeds and The Rumour), have never sounded better. In particular, Mickey Gallagher's keyboards, Davey Payne's sax and the legendary Norman Watt-Roy's inventive, rolling bass-lines are quite outstanding on this recording.
The songs are simply a joy to behold, catchy and infectious, and showcase a set of the most brilliantly witty and erudite lyrics to have emanated from Mr Dury's pen - and that's saying something, given what this modern poet has achieved on previous creations. There is not a weak song here, but my personal favourites would include opener Jack Shi.t George, where Dury dismembers the British education system in one of the most brilliant sequence of rhyming lyrics I've come across, all accompanied by the throbbing rhythm of the Blockheads magical sound. In The Passing Show, Dury seems to be (poignantly) paying tribute, whether for the band or himself personally, to past efforts, successful or otherwise. Honeysuckle Highway, whilst being a relatively straightforward, slow romantic lament is notable for being the album's lyrical highpoint, containing one of the greatest lines ever, namely, 'Cruising down carnality canal in my canoe can I canoodle?' Similarly, Geraldine is another lyrical and comedic gem, being a loving tribute to a sweetheart in the sandwich shop, 'My temperature rises and my pulses quicken when she gets cracking with the coronation chicken'. Musically, the highpoints for me are probably the two pulsating, up-tempo songs Itinerant Child (a tongue-in-cheek warning to society's rebellious youth) and Bed O' Roses No. 9 (a remorseful look at failed personal relationships).
Just a final mention of Dury's lyrics. Anyone who can get the words 'necromancy', 'daffodyllic', 'sybaritic', 'inamorata', 'schtumer', 'cojones' 'polenta' and 'Ponders End' into his songs demands respect. Ian, RIP.
Highly recommended listening.